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Development so far

Report December 2006

Bharat Nivas, the Pavilion of Indian Culture

 

For the last twenty years, India's Pavilion 'Bharat Nivas' has been carrying the torch for development in the International Zone while its surroundings remained pretty barren and dormant until quite recently. The various buildings in the Bharat Nivas compound, several of them yet to be completed, have generously housed some thirty Auroville services and units, making the place a dynamic and important centre for the communal and social life of the township.

Main focus

Soon Bharat Nivas can take up its main role and function. India's work for the future, as Sri Aurobindo says in 'The Renaissance of India', is:

  • The recovery of the old spiritual knowledge and experience in all its splendour, depth and fullness is its first most essential work.

  • The flowing of this spirituality into new forms of philosophy, literature, art, science and critical knowledge is the second.

  • An original dealing with modern problems in the light of the Indian spirit and the endeavour to formulate a great synthesis of a spiritualised society is the third and the most difficult.


The Pavilion of Tibetan Culture

We understand that this Pavilion will be dedicated to the essence of Tibetan culture in an effort to show that out of the diversity of world cultures, these pavilions can help to create a new harmony towards world human unity.

- The Dalai Lama

 

Begun in 1997, the construction of the Pavilion of Tibetan Culture has progressed smoothly since then. Today more than two thirds of the building, constructed on the grid of the Kalachakra Mandala, is completed. The Pavilion will have an exhibition hall, a large conference room, a library, a restaurant, and a Tibetan medical centre, as well as guest rooms for Tibetans and other visitors. For the past ten years regular cultural activities such as training for young Tibetans, monastic dance and chants, lectures and medical camps have been conducted in Auroville. >> more

Americas

The Americas Area was consecrated on Febuary 28th, 2001, and plans are moving forward for the creation of a student guesthouse, which can be the first of many buildings on the Americas 'campus'. The U.S. Pavilion has already begun offering cultural events and sponsoring educational programmes within Auroville.

Africa

There is a proposal for building a first Africa House to provide a base where African students and guests could be accommodated and come into direct contact with the atmosphere of Auroville.

France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and U.K.

For many years already, several countries such as France, Italy and Russia have been offering various cultural programmes to Auroville, such as exhibitions, book collections and other materials under the umbrella of their future Cultural Pavilions. Pledges for funding towards these Pavilions have been made, and research into their materialisation is ongoing. A proposal and design for a Russian Pavilion was one of the first projects studied and researched, as well as a French initiative. Both these are  being revived and reviewed at present. 
In Germany the 'Soul of Germany' is being discussed within Auroville-associated circles as a necessary preparation for a true representation of the country's cultural life, and on August 15th 2001 a first 'consecration' of the German Pavilion took place. Also in Spain in-depth studies in this direction have been done, and U.K. starts gearing up as well.

Unity Pavilion

The 'Unity Pavilion' is meant as a seed and catalyst for the development of the International Zone. It will be open to all nations presenting cultural activities, and in this way initiate the realisation of the national/cultural pavilions. The focus of work in the Unity Pavilion will be the collaboration and development of the continental areas and the interaction of cultures that defy national borders. This process can bring us to a deeper understanding of what the International Zone represents. In this wide context, the Unity Pavilion's objective will be to promote understanding between people, individuals and cultures, and in that way work towards an understanding of human unity that is the basis for realisation of world peace.  >> more

Peace Table

George Nakashima, a distinguished American architect and woodworker, dreamed of offering to each continent of the world a Table for Peace, crafted from two great, 300 year old Eastern Black Walnut trees. The first Peace Table was placed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. A second table was dedicated in 1995, and will be installed in Moscow in June, 2001. February 29th 1996, marked the inauguration of the third Peace Table in Auroville. Presently housed in the Centre of Indian Culture, it will have its home in The Hall of Peace, situated between the Matrimandir and the Unity Pavilion.

Visitors Information Centre

At the periphery of the International Zone is a large Visitors Centre which, in an easily accessible way, introduces visitors to Auroville and presents the many aspects of Auroville's ongoing research by way of an exhibition, printed publications and a video viewing facility. It also contains shops that offer Auroville handicrafts, a bookshop and a cafeteria.

An invitation to participate

So far the work of the pavilions has been done through individuals and groups in Auroville and abroad. The full functionality of the pavilions will be fulfilled only when there is participation by the national governments in manifesting them. Active sponsorship is encouraged and can be coordinated through the Auroville International Centres.

It is no longer towards division and difference that we should turn our minds, but on unity, union, even oneness necessary for the pursuit and realisation of a common Ideal, the destined goal. There is therefore the need to see how East and West could be reconciled in the pursuit of the highest and largest ideals. Spirit embrace Matter and Matter finds its own true reality and the hidden reality in all things in the spirit.

Sri Aurobindo, Message to America, 1949

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